Hanukkah at Val­ley Forge

Steven Kren­sky; Greg Har­lin, illus.
  • Review
By – October 6, 2011
Based on some his­tor­i­cal evi­dence, this inspir­ing sto­ry relates how, in the mid­dle of win­ter at Val­ley Forge, Gen­er­al George Wash­ing­ton meets a Jew­ish sol­dier; an immi­grant from Poland who is cel­e­brat­ing the first night of Hanukkah. As the sol­dier retells the Hanukkah sto­ry to the gen­er­al, Washington’s faith is renewed, and he begins to believe in the pos­si­bil­i­ty that his rag­tag army can also win against a larg­er foe. He says to the sol­dier, We too have a cru­el ene­my who leaves us only with the choice of brave resis­tance or abject sub­mis­sion.” Greg Harlin’s beau­ti­ful water­col­or illus­tra­tions bring this poignant tale to life. Chil­dren will be proud to know that a chance encounter with a Jew­ish sol­dier may have giv­en Gen­er­al Wash­ing­ton the courage to con­tin­ue the bat­tle for inde­pen­dence of the Unit­ed States. For ages 7 – 10.

Read­ing Guide

Diane Levin Rauschw­erg­er is librar­i­an for Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA, and has worked as a children’s librar­i­an for the Sun­ny­vale Pub­lic Library. She is the author of a series of children’s pic­ture books, includ­ing Dinosaur on Hanukkah, Dinosaur on Passover, and Dinosaur on Shab­bat, pub­lished by Kar-Ben Publishing.

Discussion Questions